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Culture is a term that has no definite definition. Depending on the context in which it is spoken, culture has various meaning. Cultural Anthropology defines the term "culture" as a set of ideas, values, and beliefs shared by collectively by a community. However, many believe that the definition of culture has more to do with the differences in diverse groups of people. That idea, alone, proves that there are different ways in which to define the term culture.
Gambling, though seen by many as an activity, hobby, and/or an addiction, can be associated with the term culture because it takes place in an environment where a collective group of people are spending money in hopes of winning more money. Casinos, racetracks, horse races, lotteries, and sporting events are often environments where some people like to take a chance by spending extra money for the opportunity to possibly win more money. For some, those chances have paid off. Unfortunately, for others it hasn’t. Whether gamblers win or lose, they become a part of a culture with beliefs that taking financial chances increases the potential to increase your money. Serious gamblers share this belief which is part of how the term culture is defined [collective group of people who share ideas and beliefs].
The idea place for most gamblers, especially serious gamblers, is the casino, which has become more popularly located around the country than just Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It seems that at least one casino can be found in each state which provides individuals within the gambling culture the opportunity to locate a casino to visit within their home state. And for the true member of the gambling culture, casino visits are an important part of their agenda. The state of Mississippi, which does not currently participate in the Lottery programs is known for having various casinos throughout different parts its state. In the southeastern part of the state of Mississippi, the cities of Biloxi, Gulfport, and Bay St. Louis are known to have casinos to accommodate the needs of gamblers with a desire to spend money playing on the tables or sliding dollar bills in the slot machines hoping the wheels will spin their way. I can’t say that I’m a serious gambler because I learned how easy it is to become addicted to it. Still, every now and then, I join the gambling culture and take a chance with a few dollars by sliding them into a slot machine and pushing the button.
Casinos, though commonly known for gambling, offer more than that and unless one takes the time to actually visit a casino or conduct a search on other things offered by casinos, they may never realize that there are fine restaurants, shops, spas, clubs, concerts, and more. Throughout the year many casinos on the Mississippi Gulf Coast [Biloxi/Gulfport] sponsor concerts for top performers in the music industries from all genres. Individuals who visit casinos on a regular basis are soon approached by members or hosts from the casinos player clubs to sign up for a players’ card. This card accumulates points for the player whenever the card is placed in the machine while the player is playing on that machine. Playing with the card regularly provides cardholders with benefits like free credits to play on the machine once a set amount of points has been reached, credit to make purchases from the casino’s gift shop, purchase meals at the casino’s restaurant, and, for the big spender, occasional offers for free overnight stays at the casino’s resort, and free tickets to concerts. Within the gambling culture, having a players’ card with these benefits could provide a sense that, “At least I can get something for spending my money”. Gambling means taking a chance, whether you win or lose, you can’t know unless you take that chance. And that is probably the consensus within the gambling culture, “You can’t win unless you take a chance”. In the context of gambling, I agree that you can’t win or lose if you don’t take a chance.